One of the Caribbean islands spared by this year’s relentless hurricane season, Aruba continues to trend with travelers looking to escape the cold—travel there is seeing a 31 percent increase in bookings. Sunny skies, beautiful beaches, crystalline waters, and an average winter temp of 81 degrees makes it perfect for those wishing to trade snow for white sand. Check out these photos of beaches with the clearest water in the world to help get you in the mood.
Frankfurt is a major financial hub (home to the European Central Bank) and Germany’s most international city, an enchanting union of past and present. Much of the 2,000-year-old city was destroyed during World War II and later rebuilt. Today, towering skyscrapers live in harmony with historic Gothic buildings, such as the Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew, a preserving 14th century Roman Catholic church. Check out Römerberg and St Paul’s Square, in the reconstructed Altstadt (Old Town), for seasonal markets and decorated stands that are luring 47 percent more bookings this year than last.
Situated at the southern tip of Lac Léman, and surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains, the French-speaking city of Geneva is a global center of finance, economics, and diplomacy—and bookings to this “peace capital” are up 60 percent over the same time last year, according to American Express Travel. Geneva is also home to the headquarters of the Red Cross and the European seat of the United Nations. Switzerland’s most international city also offers ample opportunities for festive fun. Stop by the artisans’ market on Rue de Mont Blanc handmade crafts and souvenirs. Afterwards, warm up with a cup of heissi schoggi (hot chocolate) or a pot of molten cheese fondue, Switzerland’s national dish. Brush up on these must-know French phrases before you go.
Bookings are up 78 percent to Reno, renowned for its casinos, nightlife, the highest concentration of ski resorts in the country, and proximity to Lake Tahoe. If you like to get in a little culture, “The Biggest Little City in the World,” also offers ballet performances at the Pioneer Center and ice-skating at the Rink on the River at the Greater Nevada Field. The buzzy Midtown district is lined with gastropubs, restaurants, and shops. Outside the city limits, you’ll find the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas and some of the best skiing and snowboarding out west on Mt. Rose, Diamond Peak, and Squaw Valley.
While you’ve likely heard of Seoul, the neighboring city of Incheon should also be on your radar; it’s a long-time transportation hub and home to the massive Incheon International Airport. Bookings are up 87 percent over last year. During the holidays, the streets are illuminated by twinkling lights, Christmas carols, and lots of tasty local treats—you haven’t had a true Korean Christmas until you’ve had a saeng cream cake. Find out our favorite Christmas traditions from around the world.